Fox Corp. said it will be skipping the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference where Lachlan Murdoch was scheduled to present Wednesday. It said the decision “was made out of an abundance of caution due to evolving public health concerns regarding COVID-19.” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehne, who were going to present today, were also no-shows. Disney executive chairman and until recently CEO Bob Iger was also slated for today but Disney canceled.
The social network follows Twitter’s lead as the list of attendees bailing on the annual Austin festivities grows, but organizers say the show will go on.
Margaret Sullivan: “Trump and his chosen spokespeople are attempting to dramatically play down the seriousness of the coronavirus and to blame the legitimate news media for doing their jobs of informing the public. In reporting what Trump has to say, the news media has a huge responsibility not to repeat and amplify his misleading spin — a spin that may serve his political interests but is not in the public interest.”
Although media stocks were hit with dramatic weekly declines along with the major stock market indices at large — around 14% over the last five days, due to mounting concerns over coronavirus — a number of companies witnessed gains and recovered to some extent on Friday.
News organizations trying to responsibly report on the growing health crisis are confronted with the task of conveying its seriousness without provoking panic, keeping up with a torrent of information while much remains a mystery and continually advising readers and viewers how to stay safe.
The new initiative includes a 24/7 live-blog on nbcnews.com with the latest updates from the network’s medical, business, political and investigative reporters.
Tokyo has no Plan B for this year’s Summer Olympics despite alarm over the spread of the coronavirus in Japan and elsewhere with under five months before the event, a senior official said on Friday. Having prepared for years and invested some $12 billion, Japan is eager to quell fears the Games might be called off, postponed or moved to a different location due to the coronavirus.
Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday said that operations at its plants in Japan may be affected by supply chain issues linked to the new coronavirus outbreak in the coming weeks, as the global outbreak gathers pace. And, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is flagging the spread of the coronavirus and potential for a worldwide pandemic as a new risk factor for its business in China and other global operations.
Media stocks and all major U.S. stock market indices were slammed Monday morning as coronavirus concerns heightened. Walt Disney was down 3.8% to $133.71, while ViacomCBS lost 4% to $27.13 and Sinclair Broadcast Group fell 5% to $27.47. In digital media, Google gave up 3.7% to $1,430, while Facebook was off 3.6% to $202.64, Amazon was down 3.5% to $2,022, Netflix sank 3.4% to $367.48, Apple was off 3% to $303.53, and Roku went backwards 3.6% to $115.09.
The association says it is closely monitoring COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, and is “prepared to devote whatever resources necessary to ensure a safe and productive NAB Show experience.”